Much of the challenge for Angel Gomes this season has been making it into Manchester United’s matchday squads.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often not been bold enough to include the talented teenager at the expense of another player. The situation may now have changed.
Gomes has made the bench only five times in the Premier League this season, and he has two substitute appearances to show from these.
The new nine man substitute bench and five substitutes rule will help Gomes enter Solskjaer’s planning.
The teenager has been a prominent part of United’s first team training sessions since the restart, and has been making his case.
Capable of changing games
Gomes is a special player, capable of influencing games with his passing, tenaciousness, and shooting ability.
In 25 matches for United’s under-23s in his career he has scored 10 goals and provided seven assists.
He has two telling contributions for United’s first team when he has played, one in a non-competitive game.
This was in the friendly in China against Tottenham last summer, when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box, weaved through the defence, and fired a winning goal into the net.
His other big moment came in the Carabao Cup semi-final home defeat to City in January.
Gomes’ quick thinking won the ball back in midfield with a smart interception, before passing up the pitch to Mason Greenwood, who laid the ball into Marcus Rashford’s path to score.
This goal gave United a fighting chance in the second leg, and it was Gomes who instigated it.
United are now entering the business end of the season. It wouldn’t normally be time to experiment, but circumstances suit Gomes.
The substitutes rule will help him get into the matchday squads. A need for rotation, with multiple games lined up back to back, means United will have to make use of the large squad we have.
Solskjaer should have a vested interest in playing Gomes, as it will help persuade him to sign a new deal at the club.
This season Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood have made the leap to become first team regulars. It would be great if Gomes could use the final few weeks to do the same.
Not many Premier League teams have seen too much of Gomes. They won’t know exactly what to expect.
That’s why playing him, just from the bench, can work out to be beneficial for United. With five substitutes available, when we are looking to change a tight game, Solskjaer has two extra rolls of the dice. Gomes is a gamble worth taking.
- Luton defender shares what it’s like trying to stop Marcus Rashford
- Manchester United fans react to Eric Bailly’s performance
- Solskjaer picks out three Manchester United players for praise
- Jesse Lingard impresses amid uncertain United future
- Manchester United fans react to Donny van de Beek’s performance
- Manchester United’s players react to win over Luton
- Dean Henderson sends emotional message to Manchester United fans
- Five things we learned as Manchester United beat Luton Town
- Confirmed Manchester United line-up v Luton Town